• Georgetown Times
  • Waccamaw Times
  • Inlet Outlook

Telling an Unending Story: Dredging remains a big transportation issue today

  • Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Georgetown County Digital Library The Georgetown Enquirer in early 1889 provided its readers with an update on the status of various dredging projects affecting commerce in the Georgetown area and the overall Pee Dee region.

Dredging of rivers and what is today known as the Federal Channel through Winyah Bay has long been an issue for businesses, merchants, individuals and politicians.

Back when Walter Hazard was editor and proprietor of The Georgetown Enquirer, there was a lot of news about railroads and dredging.

In the issue of the paper from February 20, 1889, Hazard updated his readers on political issues of the day. He also carried a piece about the advantages of truck farming for Georgetown,

Patrick Calhoun, grandson of John C. Calhoun, was making a name for himself in Georgia.

Hazard lamented that the General Assembly had refused to pass a bill amending the fish law, saying that “was unwise in the extreme.”

In those days almost 125 years ago, there were of course no four-lane highways connecting Georgetown to anywhere. Railroads and ships and boats were the primary means of getting from one place to another over any appreciable distance.

There was no lack of contention or jealousy over Charleston getting the major part of railway and river traffic.

“Our sister seaport will be reached by means of the South Carolina Railway, which will in all probability be absorbed by the Three C’s management, as soon as the latter are prepared to act.”

“It is not a pleasant thing to witness the perversion of this enormously valuable franchise to the accomplishment of purposes other than those for which it was originally designed,” Hazard wrote.

In the Georgetown Times on Friday we had a story about pay raises for county employees.

In the 1889 Enquirer, the paper ran a story from the Greenville News.

That paper reported that Judge Aldrich often shared his “abstract wisdom” with the people of the state.

Two of the judge’s pronouncements had to do with salaries for judges, and the education necessary for some of the people of the state.

The judge was of the opinion that $3,500 was not too much pay for a judge, since it requires $1,000 for his hotel and traveling expenses, leaving “only $2,500 for the maintenance of his family, etc.”

“Well, quite a number of very worthy families manage to get along respectably and comfortably on less than $2,500,” the Greenville paper reported.

“But the most remarkable statement of the Judge is that all the education the ‘laboring classes’ need is enough to enable them to read their Bible and keep their own accounts.”

On another occasion the judge had shared his opinion that a separate agricultural college would be a good thing for the farmers, but he did not think other people should be required to help build and maintain it.

On that same page of the Georgetown Enquirer, Hazard shared a report from Capt. F.V. Abbott on the states of the several river and harbor works under his charge.

They included dredging between the jetties at Charleston, work on a variety of other rivers, and the note that work on the Great Pee Dee River has been delayed because of technicalities in the purchase of a steam holster.

Work had begun on the Little Pee Dee River to remove the worst obstructions.

Mingo Creek, the Santee River and the Waccamaw River all had work ready to begin to clear obstructions and begin work in the early spring.

***

You may read more details about all these items and much more in the pages of the Georgetown Enquirer, the Georgetown Times and many other papers from the past 215 years of our existence.

Visit the Web site of the Georgetown County Library at:

www.gcdigital.org

for old issues, or check the reference room for microfilm copies.

The digital library has more than 30 collections of newspapers and other documents and many photo collections as well.

And, thanks for reading.

— Tommy Howard, Editor

Georgetown Times

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